Geography (from Greek γεωγραφία, geographia, lit. "earth description") is a field of science dedicated to the study of the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth.

 A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC).

Four historical traditions in geographical research are: 

  • spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), 
  • area studies (places and regions, countries), 
  • study of the man-land relationship, and 
  • research in the Earth sciences.


Physical World Map 2004-04-01 CIA World Factbook image: wikipedia/CIA